Life can beat the dreams right out of you, to the point that when you hear someone pontificate about chasing dreams you want to punch them. The most passionate dream chasers, I believe, are the most vulnerable.
When you pursue your dreams with all your might only to watch them crash and burn before your eyes the disappointment is crushing. If you are a church leader who has experienced this, please remember that once a dreamer always a dreamer.
My friend Doug knows the numbness of struggling through the days, months, and years after great dreams have died and refuse to be resurrected. He is a smart guy that started multiple businesses and succeeded in all of them. Then during the economic downturn he watched them all topple like dominoes.
For a person like Doug, dreaming doesn’t die easily. Always the entrepreneur, he had an idea a day to start new businesses and get back on his feet, only to see a steady march of his efforts falling over the cliff of failure. Nothing worked.
He never stopped trying but he did stop dreaming.
One day it began to look as though one of his projects might succeed. As we talked over coffee I said “Doug, I see a change in you. You are starting to dream again”. His smile lit up the coffee shop.
Three obstacles to dreaming again
It is time to dream again my friend; time for the light to come back into your eyes; time to re-engage with a hope-filled future. Let’s expose and conquer some obstacles to giving it another go.
1. Confidence deficit – when your hopes are dashed repeatedly you feel as though you can never put yourself out there by chasing another illusion. Memories of failure turn into inner gremlins that accuse you of inadequacy.
I remember reaching a point when my dream died. I buried it deep within my soul and only occasionally visited to pay respects to a driving force that seemed to have wrecked my life.
2. Intimidation – a good dream is always bigger than your abilities. You won’t accomplish it alone. Others have to believe in it too. It takes courage to be the first one to speak up about an audacious idea. Self doubts war against the passions of the soul.
I think that’s why God repeated told Joshua to be strong and courageous in possessing the Promised Land. There would be giants and walled cities. He had to overcome intimidation and lead with confidence.
3. Loneliness – not everyone is a dreamer like you. In fact only about 5% of people are wired this way. Unintentionally, some of those closest to you will lack the ability to support your dream. They simply don’t have the tools to help you. Eventually they will get on board. Meanwhile God will bring others that are equipped to help you into your life. But nothing is likely to happen until you initiate.
Maybe it’s not the old dreams that need to be resurrected so much as the ability to dream shamelessly. Have you ever been there?